Beef brisket makes a simple, cost-effective main course for a crowd. This version is tender, succulent, and delicious. It always gets rave reviews.
Brisket also makes a great sandwich, but it is equally terrific for tacos, enchiladas, and burritos! I find this one tasty and interesting enough to enhance an array of leftovers.
I use a brine to boost the moistness and tenderness of the meat, and a paste that is both spicy and sweet — my favorites. After its water bath, give the brisket a quick sear on a grill, in a cast-iron pan, or under the broiler, and you’re ready to eat.
This preparation is one of my favorite sous vide recipes to date.
Note the brining and cooking time and plan accordingly.
Serves 6 to 8
- Combine the water, cider, salt, sugar, peppercorns, and bay leaves in a large lidded container or sealable plastic bag. Add the brisket, making sure it is completely submerged, cover or seal, and refrigerate for 3 hours.
- Preheat the water bath to 147ºF (64°C).
- Combine the fennel and coriander seeds, peppercorns, paprika, and salt in a spice mill or coffee grinder, and grind until fine. Set aside.
- Combine the garlic, shallots, molasses, sugar, honey, and tomato paste in a food processor or blender and purée until smooth. Add the ground spices and process until the mixture forms a thick, sticky paste.
- Remove the brisket from its brine and pat very dry with paper towels. Coat the meat on all sides with the paste (it’s sticky, so be patient!). Transfer to a large food bag. Before sealing the bag, “massage” the paste further around the brisket from the outside of the bag. Vacuum seal.
- Cook for 48 hours.
- Remove the brisket from the bag and gently wipe off the paste with a paper towel. Brush on a barbeque sauce of your choice. Sear for color by placing the meat under the broiler, on a hot barbeque, or in a cast-iron pan for a few minutes, watching closely to avoid burning. Slice for serving.